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A pawfect partnership: How one dog provided an essential lifeline

A pawfect partnership: How one dog provided an essential lifeline

The National Lottery

3 min read Partner content

Thanks to players of The National Lottery, over £30 million pounds is being raised for Good Causes every week, funding projects like Canine Partners and helping communities come together across the UK.

In 2010, Majid’s life changed forever when he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

He had been working as a dialysis nurse in Glasgow at the time alongside studying for his master’s degree in Bio Engineering but his deteriorating health meant that he eventually had to give up both.

As his symptoms got worse, day-to-day tasks became exhausting.

Majid struggled with the mental transition that came with using a wheelchair. Majid said, “It’s so hard to get in a wheelchair after being able to walk; it changes your body image. What you have in your mind is different to what you see in your reflection in the wheelchair”.

Before his diagnosis, he had been active, but the addition of a wheelchair meant that he constantly had to think ahead and check the accessibility of where he wanted to go; something that became increasingly detrimental to his confidence.

                                                                       Majid and Oxford

After a suggestion from his physiotherapist that an assistance dog would be helpful for him, Majid came across Canine Partners - a National Lottery-funded charity that matches specially-trained assistance dogs with people who have physical disabilities.

In 2016, he was partnered with an assistance dog, Oxford, and things started to take a positive turn for Majid as he re-found the confidence to get out and about again. 

Having Oxford by his side has allowed Majid to lead a more active and social life.

He says, “I go sailing and to places I’ve never been to, I’m more outdoorsy than I was before. Because of Oxford, I managed to get a grant from the MS Society and, with their help, I bought a hand cycle. If the weather is good, we go for a cycle for a mile and a half every day to a green area where we can have a free run and a play. He can even go for a swim, as the park is quite close to the Loch.”

As Majid’s MS has progressed, he has become more reliant on Oxford for small day-to-day tasks.

Oxford has had a huge impact on Majid’s confidence and independence, as well as on his long-term health.

Oxford can now take Majid’s gloves, shoes and trousers off, push buttons and open doors.

In the supermarket, he can get things from low shelves and he gives Majid’s wallet to the cashier.

He can also collect Majid’s mail, open the front door and pick up the phone. 

Oxford has had a huge impact on Majid’s confidence and independence, as well as on his long-term health.

Majid said, “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t go out of the house and I wouldn’t be as active as I am now. Being active with MS is the secret to keeping your abilities working for longer.”

Thanks to players of The National Lottery, over £30 million pounds is being raised for Good Causes every week, funding projects like Canine Partners and helping communities come together across the UK.

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Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more